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SFI Science Awards recognise key leaders in the Irish Research Community

SFI's Science Summit brings research community together to discuss challenges and successes of the past year
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11 November 2021

Science Foundation Ireland has announced the winners of the prestigious 2021 Science Foundation Ireland Awards which recognise key leaders in Irish research at its annual Science Summit.

The Summit, which is in its second year, allows members of Ireland’s research community to come together online to discuss challenges and to celebrate the significant contributions made over the past year.

Acknowledging the award winners Prof Mark Ferguson, director general Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the government, said: “The annual SFI Science Awards is an opportunity to recognise some of the very best achievements of our research community. I want to congratulate the award winners on their significant achievements, as well as their dedication and determination, in what has been another eventful and challenging year for our research community. I am confident that their success will be a source of inspiration to their peers and, more importantly, to the next generation of researchers in Ireland. I would particularly like to congratulate Prof William Gallagher as our 2021 SFI Researcher of the Year.




“At Science Foundation Ireland we were very pleased to see the superb quality of research that our funding enables. By working closely together, the Irish research community continues to be impactful, inspirational and world-leading.” 

This year there were eight categories in total:

  • SFI Researcher of the Year 2021 Recipient: Prof William Gallagher, University College Dublin & Conway Fellow, UCD Conway Institute
  • SFI Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication Award 2021 Recipient: Presented to IUA and THEA in recognition of the science communication undertaken by the Research Community who informed the general public on all aspects of COVID-19 though sustained engagement and evidenced based communication on local and  national media, social media and discussions at various levels in our society.
  • SFI Early Career Researcher of the Year 2021 Recipient: Dr Dara Stanley, University College Dublin
  • SFI Industry Partnership Award 2021 Recipient: Prof Garry Duffy, NUI Galway in partnership with Boston Scientific
  • SFI Best International Engagement Award 2021: Prof Barry O’Sullivan, University College Cork.
  • SFI Commercialisation Award 2021 Recipient: Dr Elaine Spain and Dr Kellie Adamson, Novus Diagnostics Ltd.
  • SFI Mentorship Award 2021: Prof Helen Roche, director UCD Conway Institute, Full Professor of Nutrition / Nutrigenomics, UCD Conway Institute & UCD Institute of Food & Health, University College Dublin.
  • SFI Research Image of the Year Award 2021 Recipient: Aileen Doran, PhD / Postdoctoral Researcher in Economic Geochemistry, iCRAG SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences & School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin

“I am greatly honoured to receive this prestigious award,” said Prof William Gallagher. “I am indebted to the various members of my research group, both past and present, along with other colleagues in academia and industry across the world that I have had the great pleasure to collaborate with. One in two people in Ireland will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Indeed, practically every family in the country is being or has been affected in some way by this complex collection of diseases, including my own. Our cancer research work has been focused on taking new discoveries from the laboratory bench and bringing them closer to clinical implementation.

“I would like to especially acknowledge the patients which have contributed their precious clinical samples for analysis, SFI and other funders, UCD for providing a rich environment for research and innovation and my family, particularly my wife Catherine, for their tireless support.” 

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